Will suffer huge losses due to Delhi govt's decision to ban firecrackers: Traders

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New Delhi, Nov 5 (PTI) Traders and shopkeepers on Thursday said they are shocked by the move to ban all kinds of firecrackers ahead of Diwali and other festivals and asserted that they will suffer 'huge losses' due to the Delhi government's decision.

They said they will approach Lt Governor Anil Baijal to seek his help in giving respite from the move that came 'late' as firecrackers worth crores have already been stocked by them ahead of festivals like Diwali, Chhath and Guruparab.

'If the government had to ban the crackers, it could have announced its decision earlier so that we did not go through losses,' said a shopkeeper who got the licence to sell firecrackers near Jama Masjid area.

The ban on all types, including green firecrackers that do not cause pollution is beyond comprehension, said Hardeep Chabra, general secretary of Sadarbazar Firecrackers Traders Association.

'We are holding a meeting to find a way to save ourselves from complete financial rout due to the ban. A delegation is likely to meet Lt Governor Anil Baijal to seek his help on Friday,' he said.

The Supreme Court had allowed the green crackers but Delhi government has chosen to ban it now which will cause huge losses to traders who were already reeling under lockdown and pandemic-induced slowdown, said Vishal, another firecracker trader from Jama Masjid area 'They are playing with the lives of people. They should think first before taking any step. We have already been issued temporary licences from the Delhi government. Why did they issue licence if they were banning firecrackers,' he questioned.

The Delhi government banned firecrackers in the national capital till November 30, with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal holding festival season and pollution responsible for rising COVID-19 cases in the city.

In the wake of the rising pollution and COVID-19 cases in Delhi due to the festival season, the Delhi government has decided to put a complete ban on the sale, purchase, and use of firecrackers in the city from November 7 to November 30, the government said in a statement. The ban will also cover green crackers, said a government official.

Delhi Congress president Anil Chuadhary asked the government to help small firecracker traders and shopkeepers and give them compensation for their losses due to the ban.

According to a senior police officer, the process of issuing licenses for firecrackers shops started on October 23 and ended on October 28. A total of 260 applications for firecracker shop licences were received. Out of them, 138 licences were issued to those who met all the requirements as prescribed by the Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organisation, said Joint Commissioner of Police (Licensing Unit) Suvashis Choudhary. PTI AMP VIT TDS TDS